Marathon # 2 Is In The Books
Old PR: 5:52:32
New PR: 4:52:42
I twisted my foot at Mile 11 and had issues relating to that throughout.
My Recent Journey
As you all may remember, on December 5, I ran marathon # 1. However, it did not feel like it was my first marathon; it felt more like a dress rehearsal. I got sick two days before the big day and walked between 6-9 miles (I cannot be sure since the Garmin died). It was a pretty disappointing race but hey, when you're sick you're sick.
So, my next marathon was scheduled to be the A1A Marathon on February 20, 2011. My plan was to recover from the WPB Marathon, do some test races, get healthy and lose some weight, and try again in February.
Training has been going well. My last two races have been PRs, winning 1st in my AG on the 5K and finishing 4th in my AG on the 10K. I knew I was ready and my 16, 18, and 20 miler proved it. My paces have also gotten faster, as in 15-20 seconds per mile in training.
I also did well in the getting healthy and losing weight area. Although I've been trying to lose weight unsuccessfully for the last 3 years, I finally lost a lot of weight. As of today, I've lost 13 pounds. I also dealt with my lower back issues and that has also been mostly resolved with yoga, chiro visits, and weights.
But I got antsy. I knew I was ready to tackle another marathon but I had to wait 5 more weeks to do it. And then, during one of my runs, this crazy popped into my head. Why don't I switched to the ING full instead! I wrote the RD and they switched me. So the stage was set.
Since I had added a marathon for this week, I needed to rethink the 3 weeks prior. I had not done a 20 miler since my marathon, so I did a 20 miler two weeks out and a 12 miler 1 week out. I ran 46 miles two weeks out and only 37 one week out (which all of you that know me know that's low). Whether the lack of an official taper hurt me today, I'm not sure; but this race was not a PR seeking race, as you'll see below.
In the meantime, I heard Can-Am (a fellow Mammal) was running the full and he was gracious enough to run with me (I hope I did not bore him too much, LOL). He was my savior; without him I would have walked long before I did. I met Can-Am, Chiqui74, and their respective for an FE dinner last night and we had fun.
The temps were great, 53F at the start, 69F by the time we ended. Low humidity (86%, yes that's low for us) and 58% humidity when we finished. I opted for arm warmers (yes, we tropical flowers get cold) and a sleeveless tech shirt with shorts. I knew I would be happy I selected that come the second half.
There were approximately 20K people doing the event, between the half and the full (I think close to 4K did the full but less than that finished).
There were so many people I never met Can-Am at the corral. Looking for him, I was able to meet carrascoshannon, also a forumite and we chatted a bit. Then I wished her good luck and off I went on with the search. Can-Am found me at around Mile 0.50.
We started at around 11mm because it was crowded and I wanted to see how I did today. The big hill is also on Mile 1, so it was better this way. I could not even held that pace (easy pace) during the WPB so I felt I was too conservative today. We picked up the pace and were doing fine. Since we were waiting a long time to start, we stopped at Mile 4 to use the potta potties. I consumed Gels 1 and 2 and used my own handheld bottle for water.
At the end of Mile 11 was the cheering section, which I've always found annoying. Tons of people yelling in your ear as loud as they can; but that's Miami. As we were passing through it, I twisted my foot on a pothole. I had to stop to check it. I did not feel it was sprained so I decided to continue on. We separated from the halfers at Mile 12.XX and there we went. That cheering area just as we split was much nicer than the previous one. I had one more gel before we headed to the next 4 miles. We also stopped at Mile 15 to refill my water bottle.
The first half of the course is somewhat hilly for us flat runners. We had the big bridge plus approximately 5 other small bridges. The next few miles were flat until we hit the final two bridges.
At around Mile 15 I start feeling the front of my left thigh and by Mile 16 it was painful. This was the leg with the twisted foot so I knew something else had gone on. I also started to fade (which you'll see from the paces below) and I even begged Cam-Am not to let me walk. He pushed me through; however, I did have to walk at the end of that mile because the thigh got too painful. I walked on and off for a minute or so during these 4 miles every time the thigh and later the calf cramped. The other leg was fine so I knew it was related to the twist.
We continued forward and I still felt strong (the feeling of walking left me after Mile 16). I had to walk several water stations and we stopped to refill my water bottle once again. I was cramping down on that leg on and off so every time it got too bad I would walked or stretched it. I felt guilty for losing time by doing this and for making Can-Am stop and walk, then run, then walk, etc., but I knew the thigh and the calf wouldn't last long with that pain. We also had a final bridge here.
As we headed back to downtown, I told Can-Am I would be listening to my best music so we could increase the pace (yes, timmers, reggaetón). We hit great paces (at low 10mms but I kept cramping). At this point I walked for about a minute because I was tired. I don't think I ever hit the wall except at this point. We walked the final bridge. I was cramping really bad but did not want us to slow to a walk in the end.
After Can-Am pushed me through the whole marathon even when I told him to surge ahead, what do I do? I sprint at the end and left him behind. I thought he was keeping with me but then I saw he finished a couple of seconds behind me. Sorry, Can-Am, you were the best and I hope I did not annoyed you too much with my talking and walking.
Overall, I felt I was too conservative with this marathon because I felt strong and sprinted at the end. If I had not cramped badly on that leg I would've done much better, but I am very happy with my 1 hour PR.
Next? Yeap, I'm still doing the A1A Marathon in 3 weeks. It's flat!